Vinicius Junior tipped to become future star by Real Madrid Castilla coach Santiago Solari

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Vinicius Junior joined Madrid this summer.

Vinicius Junior has been tipped to become a future Real Madrid star after making his debut for the team’s Castilla team on Sunday.

Former Madrid midfielder Santiago Solari, now Castilla manager, gave Vinicius his first appearance in a 2-0 win over Las Palmas Atletico, then backed the 18-year-old to bring Madrid “a lot of happiness”.

“It’s not about what Vinicius can give to Castilla,” Solari said. “It’s about what the club, the institution, Castilla and the technical staff can give him to improve and to adapt because he will bring us a lot of happiness in the future.”

The Brazilian youngster linked up with Madrid this summer after agreeing to join the side last July, and featured heavily in preseason. However, manager Julen Lopetegui dropped him from the first team for the UEFA Super Cup tie against Atletico Madrid, and then the La Liga opener against Getafe.

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Xabi Alonso begins coaching career at Real Madrid academy

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Alonso was at Madrid for five seasons.

Xabi Alonso has returned to Real Madrid to begin his coaching career.

The former Los Blancos midfielder, who left the club for Bayern Munich in 2014, is taking charge of Real Madrid’s Infantil A youth team.

Alonso has made no secret of his desire to go into management, and has completed his UEFA coaching courses to that end. The next step to full-time coaching is to complete a year at academy level, which Alonso is beginning now.

Along with Alonso, former Madrid players Raul and Santiago Solari are also completing their first steps in coaching at Madrid’s academy teams. Raul is the manager of the Cadete B side while Solari is heading up Real Madrid Castilla.

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Real Madrid's Gareth Bale could be future Wales captain, says Simon Davies

Phil Blanche 28/08/2018
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Gareth Bale is now the main man at Real Madrid.

Gareth Bale‘s Real Madrid renaissance proves he has the character to be a future captain of Wales, according to his former international colleague Simon Davies.

Bale was seemingly inching towards the exit door at the Bernabeu before scoring twice in Real’s Champions League final victory against Liverpool in May.

Instead, manager Zinedine Zidane and team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid after that triumph and Bale has since played a pivotal part under new boss Julen Lopetegui, scoring in Real’s opening two La Liga wins.

“It’s funny how it’s all worked out for Gareth,” Davies said.

“The middle of last season he was struggling with injury and Ronaldo was always the main man.

“Then he scores those goals in the Champions League final, Ronaldo leaves, and now he’s the main man.

“So he’s probably got what he’s always wanted there and he’s embracing it. As long as he stays fit he’ll go on and have a great season.”

Simon Davies (bottom left) and Gareth Bale (2nd bottom l) line up for Wales ahead of their 2010 World Cup qualifier with Germany in October 2008.

Simon Davies (bottom left) and Gareth Bale (2nd bottom l) line up for Wales ahead of their 2010 World Cup qualifier with Germany in October 2008.

Former Fulham and Tottenham midfielder Davies was in the Wales team the day Bale became his country’s youngest-ever player at the age of 16 years and 315 days in May 2006.

He witnessed Bale’s journey from teenage prospect to world superstar and believes Wales’ record goalscorer will go on to captain his country when veteran defender Ashley Williams leaves the international scene.

“Gareth is definitely a leader,” Davies said at a McDonald’s community day.

“You can just see he loves playing for Wales, and never misses a game if he’s not injured. When Ash decides to call it a day I can’t see anyone taking over other than Gareth.”

Simon Davies believes Wales boss Ryan Giggs could make Gareth Bale the national team captain.

Simon Davies believes Wales boss Ryan Giggs could make Gareth Bale the national team captain.

Wales boss Ryan Giggs names his squad for the inaugural UEFA Nations League qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark on Wednesday.

The Ireland game on September 6 will be Giggs’ first at home after three friendlies in China and the United States since his January appointment.

“Ryan’s got a tough job,” Davies said of his former Wales team-mate.

“They hit the heights at the Euros (reaching the semi-finals in 2016) and it’s a bit of a transition period.

“He’s got to manage it and the country have to be aware of that. There’s more good youngsters coming through and Ryan’s got to bring them in and build again.

“But he always thought about the game a lot when he was playing and he’s definitely got the experience to do it.”

 

Davies was speaking at the McDonald’s & FAW Community football Day in Baglan. These football days are taking place across the UK this summer, giving thousands of children the chance to enjoy the beautiful game. www.mcdonalds.co.uk/communityfootballdays

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